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HP Spectre 13 - Review | BrightTitan
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HP Spectre 13 – Review

HP Spectre 13

HP Spectre 13 – Review

Design

Screen

Keyboard

Touchpad

Performance

Software

Battery

Conclusion

Scores


Design

Design is the unique aspect of HP Spectre 13. HP could have copied the MacBook ( like Asus ) but they didn’t and I am glad about it.

HP Spectre 13

Its design is gorgeous and elegant as well. First of all, it has a crazy hinge that is also one of the reasons why Spectre 13 is this much thin.

HP Spectre 13

t is actually so thin that ports are located on the back and this means there are more ports on Spectre 13 than Apple MacBook. There are 3 USB Type-C ports as well as 3.5 mm headphone jack. Anyway, let’s continue to talk about the design. Unlike the Apple MacBook, you can only get Spectre 13 in one color and that is black with gold in some places. The color is also one of the elements that make it elegant. Also, the other interesting point on the computer is the new HP logo. Spectre 13 does not come with the traditional HP logo but instead with the new one which is basically just a combination of 4 lines.

However, besides of looking really good, its trick is how thin it is. HP Spectre 13 has a thickness of 10.4 millimeters at its thickest point (without support feet). This makes it even thinner than Apple’s MacBook.

Score ( Design ) – 10 out of 10

Pros – Elegant design with a crazy hinge

Cons – Fingerprints on gold parts


Screen

Here comes disappointment. HP Spectre 13 supposed to be world-thinnest laptop with a powerful hardware. It is the thinnest and it does have a powerful hardware but it only comes with a Full-HD IPS UWVA screen. Don’t get me wrong, it has a good screen ( I will talk about it in just a sec ) but I would waiting to see a 2K Display.

Anyway, as I said in the last paragraph, it has a 13.3-inch Full-HD IPS UWVA screen that has a IPS rate of 166 PPI. However, it does not have a touchscreen ( I don’t care about a touchscreen on a laptop but it would be nice to see one on HP Spectre 13 ).

As a result, you can live with a Full-Screen display but 2K would be better.

Score ( Screen ) – 8.5 out of 10

Pros – Good colors.

Cons – It should have been 2K; not Full-HD.


Keyboard

Apple MacBook’s keyboard is terrible as travel of keys are so limited. However, Spectre 13 uses traditional chiclet-style keyboard (27 x 10 cm) with regular sized keys which have a travel of 1.3 millimeters. The keyboard is amazing and it basically feels a like real one. In my test, I noticed that the writing experience was really similar to the one on HP Spectre X360.

However, the problem with the keyboard is the backlight. There is only one level backlight which means it is either on or off. I wish that at least, there was three-level lightining on Spectre 13 like the Spectre X360.

Score ( Keyboard ) – 9.0 out of 10

Pros – Full size real keyboard

Cons –There is only one level backlighting


Touchpad

 

Touchpads have been always a problem with Windows  computer. Even in the 2016, it is still an issue. Don’t get me wrong. HP Spectre 13 has a great glass touchpad ( although it is a little bit small ) but thanks to Windows, still it is not as good as MacBook laptops.

In other words, we actually have great touchpads that work really bad in the real life beacuse of the Windows. Nevertheless, this issue could be solved by Microsoft itself which means we will still experiencing these kinds of problems even in the future ( because Microsoft is annoying and they literally don’t care about solving anything ).

Score ( Touchpad ) – 6.5 out of 10

Pros – Great touchpad

Cons – Small. Clumsy beacuse of the Windows


Performance

My main computer is MacBook Pro and I really tried to use the new MacBook because people were saying that Core M would be fine unless you are working on PhotoShop or other apps that use to much resource. However, the performance of the MacBook ( the first one ) was terrible. It wasn’t even able to handle few tabs in Chrome. Even though this issue is solved ( sort of ) with the 2016 MacBook, still Core M is a slow processor that could have been used in phones; not in a $1500 computer. Anyway, unlike the MacBook, HP Spectre 13 comes with either Core i5 – 6200U or i7 – 6500U.

First of all, do not have high expectations from those Core i processors used in Spectre 13 at all. I mean in under normal conditions ( surfing on the internet, listening music and using Office apps ), it is so smooth. However, its performance is equal to MacBook Air which is not bad at all but at the same time, it could have been better.

One thing I definitely need to talk about the performance is the heating issue. Even though I don’t know if this is a general issue or not, I know that I am not the only one having this problem, though. Furthermore, the laptop gets really really hot.

Score ( Performance ) – 6.5 out of 10

Pros – It comes with either Core i5 or i7.

Cons – Still, you shouldn’t expect too much. In winter, you will not get cold if you use Spectre 13 on your legs.


Software

All of the Spectre 13s comes with Windows 10 Home 64-bit which is fine for a lot of users. However, ( as we all know the Windows ), I want to talk about bloatware because that is yet another issue with the Windows PCs because  companies like Lenovo fills their own computers with a lot of bad software that nobody cares about. However, HP Spectre 13 is clean in terms of bloatware ( at least, if you ignore the official stupid Windows apps ).

Also, I want to talk about how better could have HP Spectre 13 if it used MacOS because Windows 10 is the reason why its touchpad is clumsy and it is the reason why you can only get 4 -5 hours of battery life in a normal use.

Score ( Software ) – 5 out of 10

Pros – Spectre 13 is not full of bloatware

Cons – Windows is terrible and this terribleness affects the computer.


Battery

Besides of being the thinnest laptop, HP promises a battery life of 9 – 10 hours which is exactly the same number with Apple’s promises on the previous MacBook. However, unlike Apple, this is the number that you cannot get in real life ( unless you turn off everything and just look at the screen while brightness is 0 percent ). For example, in my regular test which is surfing on the internet, listening music and often using apps like Office with Wifi open and brightness being about 70%. This is not a hard test since I am not using Photoshop and it is actually how normal people will use their laptop. In this test, I could only get about maximum 5 hours and in some conditions, I got only 4 hours which is not acceptable for a laptop that is considered as “MacBook” killer. I know that Spectre 13 is ridiculously thin which prevents big battery to be put inside the computer, also of course, i7 uses more power compared to Core M but the battery life cannot reach to the promised amount.

Score ( Battery ) – 5 out of 10

Pros – No

Cons – Do you like to carry your wall plug? If so, you will be happy with HP Spectre 13


Conclusion

HP Spectre 13 is a great computer as well as a great response to Apple’s MacBook. However, it is similar to the first generation Apple MacBook. It has a terrible battery life even in the normal use ( and its battery life is even worse than the first generation MacBook ); its processor could have been better ( but still it is better than Core M ) and it gets annoyingly hot.

My suggestion is that if you need a computer right now and if you don’t care about the battery life ( on a computer that is designed to be carried regularly ), then HP Spectre 13 is a great choice. Otherwise, if you carry about battery life, either go with Apple MacBook or wait for the second generation HP Spectre 13 to come.

Pros – Great design. Great Screen. Full-size real keybaord. Core i Serie processors.

Cons – Terrible battery life. Its touchpad could be better. It gets really hot.


Scores

Design – 10

Screen – 9.5

Keyboard – 9.0

Touchpad – 6.5

Performance – 6.5

Software – 5

Battery –  5

Overall –  7.3

Jack Goodman

Founder & CEO of BrightTitan

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